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Michigan city council votes to allow alligators in business district

Michigan city council votes to allow alligators in business district
An alligator swims in the pond next to the eighth hole during a practice day at the PGA Championship on August 8, 2012 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South, Carolina. UPI/David Tulis | License Photo

PORT HURON, Mich., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A Michigan city council voted to allow American alligators in a business district, giving the go-ahead to a new restaurant to keep its pet gator.

Kim Harmer, a spokeswoman for the Port Huron City Council, said the developer of the new Cajun Gator restaurant in the Central Business District asked the city for permission to keep a live 4-foot gator in a habitat separate from customers that allowed the public to view the animal, WWJ-TV, Detroit, reported Friday.

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However, officials discovered none of the city's ordinances addressed whether alligators were allowed in commercial districts.

"So, at the request of the property owner, the city council revered that issue and asked for the city administration to develop an ordinance that could be considered that would allow for an alligator to be on the premises of a commercial district," Harmer said, "with certain caveats and safeguards put in place."

The Port Huron Times Herald reported the measure passed by a 4-2 vote with Councilman Ken Harris and Councilwoman Anita Ashford voting against the ordinance.

"I'm not comfortable with it," Ashford said. "My answer is no, no, no."

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